UK treatment fee transparency

 

The request is part of the responsibility of the Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN) to carry out an order from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) after a 2014 investigation determined there was a lack of transparency around patient charging in the private sector.

PHIN will start by collecting information on what self-payers – thought to be the most affected by unclear treatment costs – are typically charged for private treatment.

Over 1,600 practioners who have already submitted performance indicators for publication on PHIN’s website will be called upon to submit their fees information.

Consultants will be able to insert a ‘range’ of costs to cover standard fees, while hospitals will need to submit ‘inclusive package’ prices for treatment costs.

This will not be an exact science but represents an important step in creating a more patient focused industry,’ PHIN said.

The remaining consultants will be contacted throughout the first quarter of 2019 with PHIN planning to publish data on its website from April.

Dr Andrew Vallance-Owen, PHIN’s chair, said: ‘For as long as I’ve been involved in private healthcare, the fees patients can expect to pay have not always been clear and transparent.

'Patients should be at the centre of their care, yet along the way a convoluted and unclear system of fees and charges, particularly for self-pay patients, has developed. We owe it to patients to rectify this by being clear and transparent about charges.'

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